A/A* A-level Students- How did you revise?

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Dinaa
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Hi, so i'm going to start Sixthform this September and i really want to achieve high grades for my A/AS-levels (A's/A*). I have chosen Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Psychology.

Please can you guys state the A-levels you picked.
What you achieved.
How did you revise..
Name any revision sourses, any recomendations.
When you started revising.
How many hours per day.
Did you have a timetable/routine?
Please do tell if it was helpful.
Tips?

Please and Thank you guys, this will be very beneficial :hugs:


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Dinaa
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Can't edit on a phone lol..
Recommendations*
And soz about other mistakes. Will fix soon :facepalm:

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bluebeetle
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Picked Maths, Physics, Psychology, General Studies, French (done a year early) and Eng Lit (AS only).

Achieved: A*AAABa respectively

How I revised: Past papers for maths and physics, making mind maps for psychology, speaking and watching TV for French.

Revision Sources: Solomon and Zigzag papers/worksheets for maths. Mot A Mot and French TV for French. Otherwise I just regular textbooks and lesson notes.

Started revising: At the start of study leave in Y11 (French and English AS), December in Y12 and as soon as school started in Y13.

Hours per day: About 2.5 in Y13 since it was every day all year. Probably about 3 in Y12 then 5 during exam time. Way too little in Y11, I messed up Y11.

No timetable, I had a tick list of everything I needed to know and I did whatever caught my interest that day.

Starting at the beginning of the year was the best choice I ever made, there was so much less stress during exam time.

Big tip: stay after school in the library/common room to revise if you can. I did that all through Y12-13 and it helped so much because I'm easily distracted.


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Mclaren96
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I got AAB at as level in maths, chemistry and physics and then A*BB with an A* in maths.

I kept going over notes and doing loads of past papers from xtremepapers.
I worked as soon as I started college and it helps before the exams start.
Make sure you do well in the practicals otherwise you could slip from an A to a B.
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ClickItBack
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(Original post by Dinaa)
Hi, so i'm going to start Sixthform this September and i really want to achieve high grades for my A/AS-levels (A's/A*). I have chosen Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Psychology.

Please can you guys state the A-levels you picked.
What you achieved.
How did you revise..
Name any revision sourses, any recomendations.
When you started revising.
How many hours per day.
Did you have a timetable/routine?
Please do tell if it was helpful.
Tips?

Please and Thank you guys, this will be very beneficial :hugs:


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I did Maths, FM, AFM, Physics, Chemistry and got all A*s (well, pre-A*, but would have been).

I found Maths and Physics naturally easy so I'm not sure if advice for that will be relevant.

I didn't find Chemistry naturally easy though - I actually found it quite hard initially, coming from Double Science at GCSE into a new school where everybody had done Triple Science. For that, I concentrated on past papers mostly. If you're aiming for A*s, you should be trying to get 100% on past papers. You shouldn't allow yourself to skip over a difficult part of the course without properly understanding it. Identify your weaknesses and eliminate them.

(and it really shouldn't take more than 1-2 weeks of revision for most science subjects if you revise efficiently; don't bother wasting time rewriting your entire set of notes. Read your notes, understand them, memorise the necessary bits, then start on past papers straight away)

Oh, also, pay attention in class and do your best to understand things as you're taught them. If you do that well, you won't really need all that much revision later on.
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TerribleTej
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(Original post by Dinaa)
Hi, so i'm going to start Sixthform this September and i really want to achieve high grades for my A/AS-levels (A's/A*). I have chosen Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Psychology.

Please can you guys state the A-levels you picked.
What you achieved.
How did you revise..
Name any revision sourses, any recomendations.
When you started revising.
How many hours per day.
Did you have a timetable/routine?
Please do tell if it was helpful.
Tips?

Please and Thank you guys, this will be very beneficial :hugs:


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A levels: Maths, Economics, Further Maths and Physics (all taken to A2).
Achieved: A*A*AB (in the order of the subjects listed above) (AAAA at AS)
For Maths and Further Maths I just practiced as many questions as I could from the books, used examsolutions for some chapters which I found difficult to understand. For economics I used tutor2u which is pretty much the only thing you need to learn the content, but sometimes I also used youtube for the difficult stuff in the content. For Physics I ordered a bunch of revision guides and just read them as much I as could. But at the end for all four subjects I did all the past papers possible.

For AS I started revising approximately 2 months before the first exam (this includes going through the content from the start). But for some exams it got to a point that I only had 7-8 days to revise for from scratch. But for A2 I started a week before Easter Holidays started, though looking back at that I would have started somewhat around January as Physics was insanely hard for me (never been good at sciences but I needed a 4th subject and I got slightly complacent as I did really well at AS physics).

Whilst not revising for exams I would have probably done around 2 hours a day on average - most of it was doing Maths and Further Maths exercises, but I usually only worked for 3 days, 2 weekdays and one day on the weekends where I'd spend the entire day just finishing off any maths work I had. But whilst revising for exams I'd probably spend between 8-12 hours every day revising (but I did start late so I had to catch up).

For me this technique was more or less helpful as I try to understand the content and so I knew that I only had to go through it once, but I know for sure that it won't work on 95% of students. The only thing I should have done was start Physics earlier, I was never confident at getting an A at that and I never understood it properly and so I had to memorise it, and that is something which takes a lot more time as you have to keep going through stuff you have covered so you don't forget it, (same tip applies to other subjects here: if you aren't confident of getting the grade you want, then start revising for it a lot earlier than any of your other subjects). For any subject though I would definitely recommend to keep up with the work you do at school, but for Maths make sure you practice as much as you can and for sciences and humanities try to understand the content before moving onto past papers it makes your job a lot easier and as a result you need to start revising early. AND PAST PAPERS ARE KEY!!! DO THEM, ALL OF THEM AND MAKE SURE YOU THEM AGAIN AND AGAIN UNTIL YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH THEM.

I hope this helps
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Hectors
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Please can you guys state the A-levels you picked. AS level Maths, Chemistry, physics, biology

What you achieved. AAAC

How did you revise.. Make notes for all the subjects, understand the concepts and memorise them, go over the content a few more times, do past papers.

Name any revision sourses, any recomendations. For maths, examsolutions.com is the very best resource. If you don't understand a topic there is a videoexplanation for it. For chemistry and physics, the Letts revison guides help a lot, they are complete and very simple to understand. I'm not going to advise you anything about biology cause I didn't do too well in that lol

When you started revising. Easter holidays are a reasonable time to start revision.

How many hours per day. 2 hours a day or less (at least for AS level)

Tips? Don't procrastinate too much
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TheWiseSalmon
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I got A*A*A*A* in Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Honestly, I think a lot of this was down to natural ability. I have a good memory for facts and I was able to understand everything in my A-level courses without any problem at all.
This is especially the case with chemistry. I have numerous friends who found it very difficult to grasp things such as reaction mechanisms whilst I understood them almost immediately. For this reason, if you find you don't understand something, ask someone (a teacher or maybe even a friend) so you can figure it out as quickly as possible.

However, I also spent lots of time going through the textbooks of all my subjects and wrote out my own comprehensive revision notes. I recommend doing this as not only do they provide invaluable revision aids closer to exams, but the very act of writing everything out helps ground everything in your memory. This is pretty time consuming, but I enjoy making notes so it didn't bother me too much as it was pretty relaxing (you can watch TV or listen to music as you do so). I also did this instead of homework during free periods. Actually, I was fortunate in that I never really got much homework so I had more time to spend on my own notes.
Some textbooks are very waffly and contain too much information. If you find this to be the case, I recommend buying a CGP revision guide for your particular course and making notes from it. They're usually concise and to the point.
Try to make notes throughout the entire year. Don't leave them all to the last few months. Start making notes on day 1. If you feel up to it, you can even read ahead and try to teach yourself some of the course your teacher hasn't covered yet.

It was only much closer to the exams when I started properly revising. I didn't actually spend all that much time at it, because I was able to remember the courses very well. Instead, I spent the most time doing past papers. I strongly recommend doing as many past papers as you possibly can under timed conditions. I cannot emphasise enough how important doing past papers under exam conditions is. I did as many as I possibly could.
It's also good to leave one for the night before the exam so the general layout of the paper is fresh in your mind meaning you have a good idea of what to expect.

I didn't really have a strict timetable or routine. I just squeezed in note-making whenever I felt like it (just make sure you don't leave all the notes until the last minute) and did most of the past papers in the days right before my exam.

I hope I've been of help. Good luck with the coming two years. One last piece of advice I can give is: don't work all the time. Enjoy sixth form. Lower and Upper Sixth have been the best two years of my life so far.
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AIVARB
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(Original post by ClickItBack)
I did Maths, FM, AFM, Physics, Chemistry and got all A*s (well, pre-A*, but would have been).

I found Maths and Physics naturally easy so I'm not sure if advice for that will be relevant.

I didn't find Chemistry naturally easy though - I actually found it quite hard initially, coming from Double Science at GCSE into a new school where everybody had done Triple Science. For that, I concentrated on past papers mostly. If you're aiming for A*s, you should be trying to get 100% on past papers. You shouldn't allow yourself to skip over a difficult part of the course without properly understanding it. Identify your weaknesses and eliminate them.

(and it really shouldn't take more than 1-2 weeks of revision for most science subjects if you revise efficiently; don't bother wasting time rewriting your entire set of notes. Read your notes, understand them, memorise the necessary bits, then start on past papers straight away)

Oh, also, pay attention in class and do your best to understand things as you're taught them. If you do that well, you won't really need all that much revision later on.
Good grades man.

What did you get at GCSEs?

What do you intend to do in future?
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mynameisntbobk
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(Original post by Dinaa)
Hi, so i'm going to start Sixthform this September and i really want to achieve high grades for my A/AS-levels (A's/A*). I have chosen Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Psychology.

Please can you guys state the A-levels you picked.
What you achieved.
How did you revise..
Name any revision sourses, any recomendations.
When you started revising.
How many hours per day.
Did you have a timetable/routine?
Please do tell if it was helpful.
Tips?

Please and Thank you guys, this will be very beneficial :hugs:


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1. Biology, chemistry, maths and psychology AS but the former 3 to A2
2. AAAA at AS and A*A*A at A2 in biology, maths and chemistry respectively.
3. It depended entirely on the subject and level. I felt that for AS biology, past paper practice under times conditions was perfect for me, but at A2 biology, I felt like reading the textbook and trying to apply the theory to real life scenarios worked well as well as learning how I need to word answers. Chemistry, at both levels I though past papers were brilliant once you were confident with the actual knowledge. Exams don't really test your knowledge, more what you can remember and how lucky you are. Maths is like chemistry where past paper practice is great, but also doing harder questions you may find online may be useful.
4. chemguide, a-level chemistry (websites)
Examsolutions (website)
A-level biology by 'learnersbox' (app)
5. I started December for jan exams at AS and April for summer exams (regret leaving it so late) and at A2, I started revising from the get go and intensely just before Easter.
6. Didn't time myself. I just did what I felt I could do. Some days I couldn't be bothered to do biology so would not do it and there's only so much of a subject you can take. Just work as long as you are comfortable doing so
7. See above. I had a timetable but only stuck to it the day I made it I can never follow them again because some days I just cba about global warming even if it's timetabled in
8. I don't find them very helpful
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Dinaa
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Please do share resources/apps/textbooks/workbooks/websites/youtubes videos..

Also, i know people have cool ways to remember things. Like some people make a song or a poem. Or catchy sayings etc.. Or stuff like OIL RIG.

Please do share

Thanks guys.. I've read all of ur posts and they're certainly helpful! And also, congratulations! You've all done amazingly and should be super proud! You guys have worked hard for it and deserve it
I hope you guys get what you want :hugs:

Please guys.. Post moour :awesome:


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Marcum
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I picked chemistry, mathematics, physics and biology. These were at AS level by the way.

I achieved AAAA.

I used flashcards extensively and had my parents test me on them. Past papers also help, I do them until I get 95%. Ask your teachers for help if there are any subjects you are unsure of.

I began to revise in late April for biology and physics. I completed past papers the week before for maths and chemistry was a last minute ordeal.

I'd say I revised for about 3 hours a day.

I made one, but I didn't stick to it so I can't comment on its use. I think it was overambitious and that was the reason why I didn't stick to it.

Work hard throughout the year and revision won't be nearly as stressful. Also, don't let revision take over your life, to remain mentally stable I think you need breaks.
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